Highlights: U.S., bank regulators testify on financial reform
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The following are highlights from a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday on financial reform. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro, Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh testify.
GENSLER ON MAJOR SWAP PARTICIPANTS
"It's somebody who's not a swap dealer, but has some systemic relevance."
"I would envision it would be a very small set of companies."
GENSLER ON CLEARING, MARGIN RULES FOR PRE-ENACTMENT SWAPS
"I think that should be prospective, not retrospective, in that regard."
GENSLER ON WORKING WITH SEC ON NEW GOVERNANCE RULES
"On the governance rule tomorrow, I think ... they (the SEC) are about 10 days behind us."
"As of now, I think they're nearly identical, the actual text. Those 10 days may change something."
WOLIN ON PICKING AN OFR HEAD
"The President...is reviewing possibilities for who might be the first head of the OFR (Office of Financial Research). We are very much focused on making sure that it's someone who has real experience and capacity in data collection, data analysis and its application in these important contexts and of course, we want to make sure that the office when it is stood up has the independence that the statute intends for it."
"It's a part of the Treasury but with independent leadership and budget capacity and so forth and that's an important element so that the work of this office provides a clean, unbiased , unvarnished look at the issues which...(will) give the government for the first time a real set of tools that it hasn't had."
SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN CHRISTOPHER DODD ON TURF FIGHTING
"We certainly expect the members of the oversight council to share information and to cooperate and to create an atmosphere where any agency is free to contribute in all of this. This organization is not intended to be a top down but rather a collective gathering of equal partners in all of this. I would expect that no one would hide behind the work of the Fed or the Treasury nor to be intimidated by it. I say that respectfully but obviously Treasury and the Fed have been very dominant players in all of this but what I want to have happen here is that level of cooperation where each of you have a responsibility to bring your designated knowledge and expertise to the table and that that information is shared - creating a new culture."
"One of the problems in the past is I can't legislate culture, none of us can."
"We can designate responsibilities but beyond that it ultimately depends upon the leadership of the respective agencies to create that culture."
BAIR ON COOPERATION BETWEEN AGENCIES:
"Certainly coordination is an important function too but I think people of goodwill will work collaboratively together and share information and respect each others respective spheres of expertise to get this work done. I think if we all start trying to rewrite each others rules, though, this council will become an impediment not a way to facilitate reform."
GENSLER ON NEED FOR MORE FUNDING TO IMPLEMENT RULES:
"Though we do have the resources to publish the rules and move forward on the rules, we do recognize we will need significantly more resources about a year from now to actually implement these."
SCHAPIRO ON WORKING WITH EU:
"The European Union is broadly consistent with Dodd-Frank." "I don't think there is any question about it, when we lead as the largest market in the world other countries look very carefully at what we've done."
GENSLER ON MAY 6 SUPPLEMENT REPORT:
"Within the next couple of days, I think we'll put out this May 6 supplemental report. There are a lot of lessons in there too."
GENSLER ON AGENCY'S PRIORITY FOR FSOC:
"One thing that we see over the many months ahead is to designate some clearinghouses to be systemically relevant. We currently oversee 14 clearinghouses, we think that might grow to 20 or so, but some small handful would be so important ... the council would designate them."
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